Department of Political Science

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The Department of Political Science provides the opportunity for degrees at the BA and MA levels. We provide students with the tools and knowledge necessary for effective citizenship in a diverse and global community. In our programs, students learn about the U.S. political and legal system, the politics and cultures of other regions of the world, as well as how to critically evaluate systems of authority and power and their limits. Students will be prepared to live in an interdependent world and will obtain the literacies necessary to succeed in their chosen careers. 

Learn more about each of our programs:

  • BA in Political Science
    The major in political science is a comprehensive social science program that allows students to build a core foundation of knowledge in both domestic and international affairs. The program is designed to provide students with the conceptual, theoretical, and research tools that will enable them to understand, participate in, and change the institutions and practices—whether on the local, national, or international level—through which people make the decisions that affect their lives. It offers students the opportunity to take a variety of courses in U.S. politics, public policy, political theory, law, international studies, political behavior, diversity studies, and political economy. 
  • BA/MA in Political Science
    The Department of Political Science offers students the opportunity to earn a BA in political science and a master of arts in public policy and international affairs via our five-year accelerated degree program. The program is targeted for high achieving students with a strong interest in public service.
  • BA in Legal Studies
    The major in legal studies is a comprehensive interdisciplinary program that enables students to enhance their knowledge and appreciation of the role of law in contemporary life, while at the same time improving their analytical abilities through a process of data evaluation, problem solving, and debate. It offers students the opportunity to take a variety of courses covering the American judicial system, constitutional law, political theory, international law, contemporary legal issues, and a variety of related liberal arts fields that build critical skills that can be applied to the study of law.
  • BA in Latin American and Latino Studies
    The major in Latin American and Latino studies is designed to bridge the gap between the lived experiences of the Latin American and Latino populations in the Americas and the production of knowledge about them. The program provides a greater understanding of diversity in keeping with the University’s mission of providing a climate of diversity and equity in educational excellence. In doing this, Latin American and Latino studies helps students develop a multidisciplinary understanding and knowledge base of the history, culture, and people of Latin America and of Latinas/Latinos in the United States.
  • Minor in Political Science
    The minor in political science provides students with an abbreviated survey of the political science program that exposes them to some of the conceptual, theoretical, and research tools that will enable them to understand, participate in, and change the institutions and practices—whether on the local, national, or international level—through which people make the decisions that affect their lives. It offers students the opportunity to take a variety of courses in U.S. politics, public policy, political theory, law, international studies, political behavior, diversity studies, and political economy.
  • Minor in Legal Studies
    This minor in legal studies provides students with an abbreviated survey of some of the concepts within this interdisciplinary field of study. It enables students to enhance their knowledge and appreciation of the role of law in contemporary life, while at the same time improving their analytical abilities through a process of data evaluation, problem solving, and debate. It offers students the opportunity to explore a variety of courses covering the American judicial system, constitutional law, political theory, international law, contemporary legal issues, and a variety of related liberal arts fields that build critical skills that can be applied to the study of law.
  • Minor in Public Policy and Administration
    The minor in public policy and administration introduces students to the structure, politics, process, and logistics of organizations, programs, and policies in the public sector (governmental and non-governmental).  Students will critically examine the key challenges facing contemporary practitioners in the public sector and learn about potential challenges on the horizon.  Thus, applied problem solving is a core component of the minor. It is expected that students will develop sound foundational knowledge of the work of the public sector and greater awareness of careers in the public sector via exposure to classic and contemporary texts and relevant case studies. This minor is especially beneficial to students who desire a program of study that allows them to apply the civic knowledge and critical thinking skills developed within the liberal arts and social sciences toward the examination of specific challenges and skills required within the modern public sector.
  • Minor in International Studies
    The interdisciplinary minor in international studies prepares students to engage with the concepts, ideas, and analytical tools necessary to understand relations among nation-states and between states and no-state actors. It will introduce students to various explanations of state behavior, whether economic, diplomatic, or cultural, in the context of history and contemporary and current events. Students will explore vital topics such as war, cooperation, foreign policy, international law, diplomacy, political economy, human rights, and cultural/perceptional issues that shape state behavior.
  • Minor in Middle East Studies
    The minor in Middle East studies prepares students to understand and engage with a region of great cultural, economic, and political importance. This is an interdisciplinary program, with courses drawn from eight different departments (languages and cultures, art, Asian studies, geography, history, philosophy, political science, and sociology) across two different colleges (College of the Arts and Communication and College of Humanities and Social Sciences).
  • Minor in Latin American and Latino Studies
    The minor in Latin American and Latino studies provides students with an abbreviated survey of the interdisciplinary Latin American and Latino studies program. The minor exposes students to some of the core elements of the Latin American and Latino studies program, which has courses drawn from 11 different departments and programs (i.e., Africana world studies, art history, anthropology, English, geography, history, Latin American and Latino studies, languages and cultures, political science, sociology, and women's and gender studies) across the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of the Arts and Communication.
  • MA in Public Policy and International Affairs
    The master of arts program in public policy and international affairs provides students with a foundation for understanding the ways in which contemporary public policy crosses and supersedes national boundaries in an increasingly integrated global environment of trade, information and technology, threats to national security, and the global ecosystem. The program seeks to train effective innovators and problem solvers by integrating the practical and theoretical, domestic and international dimensions of policy-making and management. Students learn about the foundations of policy research and evaluation methods and they explore a variety of concrete policy topics such as policy formulation, critical policy analysis, social policy, education policy, environmental policy, immigration policy, security policy, human rights law, and public administration.
BA in Political Science
The program in political science offers valuable preparation for a wide variety of careers in the public sector, non-profit sector, and the private sector. Students obtain skills that will prepare them to enter electoral politics, education, business, law, journalism, government service, and nonprofit service. Additionally, students gain knowledge and skills for successful entry into graduate school or law school.

BA/MA in Political Science
In the addition to the academic and professional preparation students gain during the undergraduate portion of the program, the MA portion prepares students for careers in government, the nonprofit sector, and the private sector. Examples of career opportunities include policy analysts, program managers, legislative aides, researchers, public relations officers, lobbyists, human rights workers, security personnel, social studies teachers, and political journalists.

BA in Legal Studies
The program in legal studies prepares students for law school or graduate school. Additionally, the program prepares students for careers in court administration, law office management, human resources management, dispute resolution, business, local, state, or federal government, and nonprofit and non-governmental organizations.

BA in Latin American and Latino Studies
A major in Latin American and Latino studies enhances student awareness of the variety of systems and cultures within Latin America and the political economy of the Americas. Students will gain knowledge and skills to pursue career paths in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors that require specialized knowledge of Latin America. The major will also increase undergraduate student preparation for possible graduate study in political science and international affairs.

Minor in Political Science
A minor in political science will enhance student awareness and identification of career paths in the public and nonprofit sectors; increase undergraduate student preparation for entering such careers; and enhance student preparation for possible graduate study in political science and related fields.

Minor in Legal Studies
A minor in legal studies will enhance student awareness and identification of career paths in law and the public sector; increase undergraduate student preparation for entering such careers; and enhance student preparation for possible graduate study in law.

Minor in Public Policy and Administration
A minor in public policy and administration will enhance student awareness and identification of career paths in the public sector; increase undergraduate student preparation for entering such careers; and enhance student preparation for possible graduate study in public policy and administration.

Minor in International Studies
A minor in international studies will enhance student awareness of a variety of systems and cultures, international political economy, and a variety of career paths in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. The minor will increase undergraduate student preparation for entering such careers and enhance student preparation for possible graduate study in political science, international affairs, or related fields.

Minor in Middle East Studies
A minor in Middle East studies will enhance student awareness of a variety of systems and cultures within the region. Students will gain knowledge and skills they can use to pursue career opportunities that expect some specialized knowledge of the Middle East. The minor will also increase undergraduate student preparation for possible graduate study in political science, international affairs, or related fields.

Minor in Latin American and Latino Studies
A minor in Latin American and Latino studies will enhance student awareness of the variety of systems and cultures within Latin America and the political economy of the Americas. Students will gain knowledge and skills they can use to pursue career opportunities that expect some specialized knowledge of Latin America. The minor will also increase undergraduate student preparation for possible graduate study in political science, international affairs, or related fields.

MA in Public Policy and International Affairs
The master of arts program in public policy and international affairs prepares graduates to pursue successful careers in government, the nonprofit sector, and the private sector. Examples of career opportunities include policy analysts, program managers, legislative aides, researchers, public relations officers, lobbyists, human rights workers, security personnel, social studies teachers, and political journalists.